7. Tell us about your working style and some technical details about your daily workflow:
I begin every project with a thorough conversation with the director or creator. My goal through these conversations is to fully understand the project, flesh out the creative goals and determine the technical requirements to achieve them. Once we’ve broken down some fundamental things – such as the number of cast members or subjects, locations, wardrobe, props, VFX, motion capture, etc. – I seek communication with the respective departments to accommodate the sound needs of the project. I also chat with the post department to establish workflow specs, including recording, sync, multi-tracking, metadata, mix for editorial, delivery, etc. Communication with post is a must, especially in more complex technical projects like in VR or AR. I find that the more time is spent in this stage, the more successful we are during production, and the better deliverables we give post.
On a day-to-day, my focus is figuring out the best way to capture sound for the scene or the action that we are tackling. Can it be achieved with just a boom mic or should I also wire someone? Can I stash a mic somewhere? Most times, I find myself problem-solving, particularly when figuring out how to make the location or environment work best (read: not be noisy). To me, technically, it is all about optimal microphone placement, with a transparent signal reproduction and signal-to-noise ratio. Creatively, it is about making sure that performances or real-life moments are captured.
8. What future projects do you plan to use DPA mics on? Can you tell me a little bit about them?
My company is currently developing a few interactive projects where we will likely use DPA microphones for sound recording, unfortunately I can’t mention any specifics at this point in time. However, I just finished production on an upcoming ESPN documentary on retired NBA player and NBA Cares Ambassador, Felipe Lopez. The project has been very special to me, both as a Dominican-born immigrant myself, as well as a basketball fan. To paint the picture: the very first professional basketball game I ever attended was a pre-season exhibition match between the Miami Heat and the Minnesota Timberwolves (the team on which Felipe played at the time) back in 2002 in the Dominican Republic. I remember that day perfectly – the Dominican-filled crowd cheered non-stop for Felipe, and the Timberwolves won the game. To work on a documentary about him nearly 20 years later feels like fate, and it will forever hold a very special place in my heart.
I wouldn’t have been able to capture all the vérité moments without the 4063
lavalier mic and the d:dicate 4017B shotgun microphones
9. Where do you see the audio industry for TV and film going in the next five years? Do you see any major trends that will affect how you work in the future?
This is a tough question, and I don’t know that I have the right answer. It’s sometimes hard to see what lies ahead when you’re right in the middle of it, but I see and hope for growth both in the tools we use and in our creativity in how we use them. The language of filmmaking continues to evolve in such an impressive way, producing some breath-taking dynamic stories and cinematic styles. These can present a challenge to the sound department and how we are able to do our jobs, but I do believe that there are some creative solutions that can be achieved, especially when you have the entire crew on your side.
I think we will see more content that continues to push the boundaries, requiring the innovative deployment of boom, lav and plant mics. Higher multi-track count will probably become more widespread – and I’m not talking eight to 12 tracks, but upwards of 20 and 30 tracks. I do also hope to see bigger sound departments to help accommodate these new challenges.
Recruited into the DPA Master's Club by Leonardo Romero Velasquez, DPA’s Latin American sales director, and Christopher Spahr, DPA’s U.S. vice president of sales and marketing (on separate occasions), Frías has great praise and enthusiasm DPA’s lavalier microphones.